Sarawak remains attractive to investors despite pandemic, says Awang Tengah


KUCHING – Sarawak remains as one of the most attractive places for investment in Malaysia despite the COVID-19 pandemic as it managed to secure RM15.7 billion worth of approved investments in 2020, the state Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said.

Nevertheless, he said, the Sarawak government is not resting on its laurels and is continuing to engage with foreign investors on their proposed investments, such as in green hydrogen, electric vehicles, glass and glass fibre.

“I am also pleased to inform that four multinational corporations in Sama Jaya (Free Industrial Zone near Kuching) have begun their expansion plans worth RM6.31 billion. This is a testament of the investors’ full confidence in Sarawak government’s ability to manage our economy as well as the way we manage the pandemic,” he said.

Speaking at the launch of the Sarawak Chief Minister’s Industry Excellence Awards (CMIEA) 2021 held online today, he said business communities in the state had played their part actively in managing the impact of the pandemic via corporate social responsibility contributions and facilitating the vaccination exercise.

“I would like to thank business associations from Sama Jaya, Samalaju (Industrial Zone in Bintulu), shipbuilding, Federation of Manufacturers Malaysia, Sarawak Timber Association, Sarawak Manufacturers’ Association, Sarawak Business Federation and others for participating in the PPVIN (Industry Vaccination Administrating Centre) programme,” he said.

Awang Tengah, who is also Sarawak International Trade and Industry, Industrial Terminal and Entrepreneur Development Minister, said the industry players’ support enabled the state government to concentrate on expediting the vaccination among the general public, including those at the remote areas.

He said the state government empathised with the people and business communities on the hardships they faced as a result of the pandemic which had hit them for the past two years, leading to numerous initiatives and strategies being executed to ensure the recovery of the economy.

Apart from the federal financial packages totalling RM284.5 billion, he said the Sarawak government also provided assistance valued at RM5.3 billion in seven packages under Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang (BKSS) which also targeted the state business community.

The assistance for the business community, among others, includes Special Relief Facility (SRF), Targeted Relief and Recovery Facility (TRRF), Penjana Tourism Financing (PTF), Sarawak Micro Credit Scheme (SMCS), Small and Medium Industry Loan Scheme (SPIKS) and Go Digital Program.

“Sarawak is the only state that provides interest subsidy for SRF, TRRF and PTF to assist our local SMEs to further lessen their financial burdens. The total interest subsidy for the above three schemes is budgeted at RM80.7 million,” he added.